Thursday, May 29, 2003

Bearjob or Bunnyjob?

I don’t know if the above screen-cap from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining qualifies as an Evil Man-Bunny sighting, but it certainly is disturbing. I say it qualifies. The resemblance to subsequent EM-Bs is too close to ignore.

Research continues...

(Any supplemental information is welcome. E-mail your findings to

A Bunny for Your Thoughts

What’s the deal with Evil Man-Bunnies?

This morning, I downloaded the trailer for Cabin Fever, which looks like your typical horror flick — pubescent teens in the woods meet sharp objects. But a couple frames of the trailer revealed what I’ve noticed has been a growing phenomenon in contemporary cinema: The Evil Man-Bunny.

I can’t say for certain when the EM-B thing started, but the first time I saw any sort of Evil Bunny was, of course, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But said Evil Bunny was cute and cuddly (albeit bloodthirsty), and had no man-features. I spent a better part of my life never seeing another Evil Bunny until I rented Sexy Beast a few months back. In it, an EM-B appears to one of the main characters in his dreams. He’s all symbolic and shit. It was a great flick. And only a few weeks later I saw an EM-B in Donnie Darko, another good flick.

And now, after seeing the Cabin Fever trailer, I can no longer attribute the EM-B craze to simple coincidence. Something is up. I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

I have invented a new drink. I call it the Slapuccino. Here’s how you make one:

• Boil some water
• Slap yourself or somebody else in the face
• Shout “Slapuccino!” and do the chicken dance

This drink is straight up crackin’.


Last night I watched America’s Next Top Model on UPN. Yes, I did. And I hereby declare this show the Best Reality Show on TV. Two episodes aired last night, and minute by minute, multiple layers of surreality revealed themselves and did a chicken dance all over the screen. Figuratively. Like, literally. In the latest episode there was crying, backstabbing, self-righteous proselytizing, whistleblowing, yelling, singing, group prayer, more crying and the bold proclamation “Let me fucking die, you bitches!” Pure television magic.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Eligible for the Draft
Tony B and I are already halfway through our first mock draft for the 2003 fantasy football campaign. It is May 27th. The baseball season has not yet reached the halfway point. The NBA draft is still weeks away. And yet here we are, already busy studying up for the draft. Immersing ourselves in NFL minutea. Some people get hooked on porn. Others get their kicks gambling on-line or visiting webcams. And a chosen few devote their time to becoming students of the oblong ball. We are sick individuals. But this sick individual landed Rod Smith (WR, Denver) in the fifth round. So fear this.

In other news, up is down. Miya completely lost her mind over the holiday weekend and convinced herself that she wanted to drive a pickup truck. Miya is a beautiful, intelligent woman. The light of my life. And she stands a statuesque 5-foot2. Not exactly the kind of build that would look right behind the wheel of a 4x4. But I played along, dutiful boyfriend I am. Took her to the Toyota dealership so she could test-drive a Tacoma (a truck she referred to as both “cute” and “sexy” ... I kid you not). After roughly ten minutes on the lot, she had a salesman feverishly trying to convince her that she should not, under any circumstances, buy a Tacoma. This man was under the employ of Toyota. He makes his living convincing people to purchase cars they don’t want. Miya got the message loud and clear. The Tacoma has been officially ousted from the new car sweepstakes, replaced by the decidedly cute and sexy Toyota Matrix. Whew.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Language Arts
I got this shot outside an art gallery near Peak and Elm a couple months back. Good times, those.

Runnin’ the ball is like makin’ romance
There’s something touching about a professional athlete who’s not afraid to fall in love publicly. I’m not gonna’ get all sweet in the pants or anything, but this story is totally sweet in the pants ... on an intellectual level:

Phils pitcher looking for Big Apple girl
Phillies lefty Randy Wolf said he is considering taking out a huge advertisement in the New York papers to find the attractive brunette who asked him for directions yesterday morning while he was standing at the subway station.

"There was something about her eyes," Wolf said.

The pitcher said he became separated from the woman, who wore brown suede bell-bottoms with a black coat. Wolf wants the woman to contact the Phillies' public relations department at

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Straight Up Crackin’
Man, sometimes the shit is straight up crackin’. “Straight up crackin’” is a new phrase that I just made up. Take note: It will soon be the latest thing to sweep the nation. Complete with its own dance (“What’s that dance he’s doin’?” “Girlfriend, that boy straight up crackin’!”). As corporate types hone in on the movement and attempt to cash in, look for a Saturday morning cartoon called “Straight Up Crackin’” about a rag-tag group of preteen misfits whose hijinks always have a moral. There will also be a complete line of action figures by Mattel, with names like Straight Up Charlie and Shit Crackin’ McGrachen.

So yeah, last night I slept like a champ. It was my first decent night of sleep since last Friday, when a solo sojourn to a DJ show in Deep Ellum went awry and I ended up going home and passing out on the living room floor. It was the bomb. Sad things: I missed most of the show; I had to deal with a two-day hangover; I broke what had been a pretty lengthy non-puking streak; and Miya Darling was hob-nobbin’ in San Antonio, so I had noone here to take care of me in my weakened condition. It was the bomb.

But I feel much better now. Last night sleep came buffet style. Woke up quick this morning and I’ve been Straight Up Crackin’ ever since. Join me for kicks. Can I get a witness?

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Quick Fiction
I walked along that beach with something in my eyes. Whatever lingered there ruined my view. I kept on walking though just to feel the sand press up between my toes. The sun hung out up there somewhere, but it just didn’t make sense to me. The white popcorn clouds of a city afternoon slid across the sky. Spreading. But they didn’t make sense to me either. Maybe the sweat on my skin. The heat on the top of my head. Hunger. Loneliness. Gravity. Everything else was painted in. A notebook sketch. A magazine. I stopped and bought an Italian Ice just to reassure myself that it was possible. Reassure myself that what troubled me wasn’t the earth, but rather my point of view.

Italian Ice in hand, nothing was broken.

I’m so old that where are my pants?
Some people need to be kindly taken aside and told that what they think is funny, clever and insightful is actually just mind-numbingly trite. The following actually ran in today’s Chicago Sun-Times Letters to the Editor section:

Showing his age
I'm so old that when I hear the term ''spam,'' I think of that once-famous processed meat product in a tin container.
William E. Carsley,
Lincoln Park

Um, yeah. I'm dying here Bill.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Big Shoulders
Pretty cool winter photos of Chicago. I also dig this shot, which currently occupies my desktop.

Friday, May 16, 2003

I Got Nothin

Bar patio. Dallas.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I saw The Matrix in a huge Detroit cineplex back in 1999. I was impressed. My friends and I walked out of the theater doing flying spin kicks and shooting at each other. It was awesome. At the time, the flick could not be beat for high-tech action and slick production. So then, of course, over the next few years, I saw the movie several more times. And something about it began to gnaw at my frontal lobe. I didn’t pinpoint the problem until later, but it was there. And it was gnawing. Right under the surface of a quality action flick lingered a fundamental annoyance which, when identified, explained the mysterious gnawing sensation. Finally, it hit me. If you watch the original Matrix movie and listen for two key words, your appreciation for it will decrease by a factor of 10 (according to statistics compiled by the US Department of Health & Human Services). These two words are repeated so many times throughout the film that I’m surprised a drinking game hasn’t been created to exploit this fact. Those two key words: The One.

I did a search of the movie’s screenplay and found that the characters say this phrase no less than 20 times throughout the movie. This, of course, does not include all the the implied The Ones (e.g. “Is he?” “I don’t know.” “He could be.” “Could be what?” “You know ... [exaggerated wink].” “Well, what if he isn’t?” “Then shit. We’re screwed.” “Let’s go see the Oracle.” “Let’s not and say we did.”) So 20 frickin times. That’s right. Over the course of 135 minutes, that amounts to one “the one” every seven minutes. In beer shot time, that translates to 40 ounces (or two ounces per sip) over little more than two hours.

I guess I’m getting a little bent out of shape. But I think this thinking has been re-activated by the fact that a good many dorks see The Matrix as profound and meaningful. Convoluted, maybe. But not profound. And the only meaning I got out of it was that people interpret references to white rabbits as hip because we all love psychedlic drugs and appreciate their influence on Lewis Carroll and Jefferson Airplane.

But to anyone who thinks the movie is more than it is, heed the wise words of the great Roger Ebert: Questions arise, such as, is there no more efficient way to generate power? And why give the humans dreams when they would generate just as much energy if comatose? And why create such a complex virtual world for each and every one of them, when they could all be given the same illusion and be none the wiser? Why is each dreamer himself or herself, occupying the same body in virtual reality as the one asleep in the pod?

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Came back to the office from lunch and parked my car. One hour later I went to get something out. I noticed there was a nice gash above my driver’s side wheel. The car in the next spot had got me so bad that it had red paint on the edge of the door. Ran upstairs to write a note (saying something to the effect of "Look what you've done you fucking asshole") and to get my camera (so I could bash the fucker's skull in without damaging my hands). By the time I got back downstairs, the car was gone. I am pissed. Seriously.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The Cubs are in first place. The clouds are shining. Life is good. What would really make this the best of all possible times would be if I could somehow have the neck of the guy who scratched my car. Have his neck in my hands. For the squeezing. And I fear this desire may be symptomatic of a bigger problem I face day in and day out. Whatever the hell day in and day out means. But whatever. I don’t want to become a redsportscarguy, bitching about slow traffic and weaving in and out of jams. Flipping das byrd to unassuming geriatrics. Running over squirrels for sport. But I saw that scratch in my door and was pissed. Unnaturally pissed. I’ve never been so protective of a car, although considering my car history, maybe I should be. But the MR2 has roused my passion. My passion, moreover, my need. My need for speed. Mmmmm, speed. And whosoever should cripple my zippy little racer shall incur my wrath. Day in and day out. For the squeezing.

Hizzle? Chizzle on Thizzle. Bizzle. Rap Snacks. Link courtesy of loriestories.

Monday, May 12, 2003

The Message
New York Times reporter busted for making shit up.

But he wasn’t the first. And he won’t be the last.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Paper Trail
OK, so I hereby officially apologize for my shady updates these past couple weeks. Photos, exerpts from old writings, false research. All complete and utter wastes of time, I know. But no matter what happens, I just want everyone to know that I will update frequently no matter what the cost. Even if it means posting recycled garbage and gardening tips. So yeah anyway, the reason I’ve been sort of slacking off a bit lately is that I have been supremely busy at work. The paper's last two issues have been mammoth undertakings. Wall-to-wall action. At one point the tension was running so high that I had to tell Molly, a bubble-headed ad staffer, to “shut up and put it in the basket” (referring to an ad she was pestering me about). It was great. Like a bath in Calgon. My troubles just peeled away. Botox for the brain. The metaphors will end here.

So I walked out to my car this morning and damn, somebody put a major scratch in my driver’s side door. I took this photo to pass on to my insurance agent. But in the meantime, I am majorly kind of maybe upset. What really weirded me out is that my flip-in passenger-side mirror was flipped in this morning. So apparently some asshole chipped all my door paint off, walked around the car, and flipped my mirror as if to say “Pleased to meet you; I am certifiably insane.”

If I ever see the guy who did it (I’m fairly certain he’ll have a bunch of red paint under his fingernails ... and maybe a pinwheel hat and bunny slippers, judging from his odd brand of vandalistic pathology), I’m going to shoot him in the back. Or approach him with caution and blow a burp in his face.

So anyway, I’m sure I’ll get over it.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Chicago Relics

parking lot traffic, all sideways and shit

the dude who cooked twenty delicious tacos

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

I’ve been listening to a lot of Portishead lately. One of my favorite bands of the 90s, I kind of left them a couple years ago for more uplifting music. But listening to their stuff again, I find it more comforting than depressing. Vocals courtesy the mysterious and sultry Beth Gibbons (top left photo). 808 effects that will test the limits of human endurance, as well as that of your system. If you haven’t given Portishead an in-depth listen, then maybe you should.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

You Set the Scene
I have been pondering the limits of human endurance lately. Endurance is a very complicated thing, mostly because many times it lasts for fucking ever. Like those guys on reality TV shows who get wrapped in honey strips and dipped head first into piles of bees. Bad example. Like those guys on reality TV shows who have to stand on poles in the middle of the ocean and whoever (or whomever) stays on his (or whom’s) pole the longest gets to screw the prom queen or some shit. It’s tedious. That’s why nobody will stand on a pole in the middle of the ocean on purpose unless there is the promise of guiltless sex with a nubile prom queen. It is also why so few comprehensive studies of human endurance exist. Throughout history (and by history, I mean the last couple years or so), researchers have tried time and again to track human endurance empirically only to find themselves getting bored and running out for ice cream, thus tainting their data.

So yeah, it makes me wonder: What’s the deal with human endurance?

My natural curiosity finally got the better of me. The endurance quetion was just too tempting. How can we as a species continue to live without knowing just how durable we are? I mean, duh!

So I have spent most of my working hours this week testing my own endurance. In the interest of science. Because I care about humans. And it was all kind of an accident, really. But so was silly putty. Anyway, so I have been testing my endurance by drinking just obscene amounts of caffeine. Copious amounts. This week has been Mike’s Caffeine Festival. I drank so much caffeine yesterday that I spent most of the day convinced that my boss was actually a head of broccoli. Luckily, he started getting all lippy when I dipped his head in a bowl a ranch dressing and I snapped out of it.

OK, time to go home. I didn’t really do a study. Didn’t collect any data. Not even a datum.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Cheap Thrills
I know this violates many blogging shibboleths, but it's going to be a busy week. Here's another excerpt from that old story. Glory.

Fall of 1981. Playing in the yard out back, digging holes or some shit. Digging holes in the yard out back of the faux brick bungalow just outside Chicago. His childhood home. He’d been throwing ants one by one into the web of an unusually large spider which had taken up residence in one of the garage’s window sashes. A brilliant, flawless web that stretched out of the sash upward and clung to a thick tree branch which overhung the garage. Eric would toss them one by one and watch amazed the dispatch with which the arachnid immobilized its prey. Its front legs working furiously to wrap the bugs in a fine caccoon of silk. Its body a fat black bulb with hinged, needle-like legs with corn-yellow tips. Multiple counts of insecticide. Economy of motion. Efficiency and coldness. And then it lost interest, the spider, and retreated to a thickly woven cone of web overhanging the lip of the garage roof. Like it caught on to the fact it was on some sick display and was now suddenly aloof. It retreated in the mindless, frantic gait of a spider. And nestled itself in the cornucopia-shaped base that overhung the garage roof. Eric stuck a twig up and lightly disturbed the web. Not enough to damage it. Not enough to tangle it. Just lightly touching and wiggling to provoke. It was really a beautiful thing, the web. A beautiful thing even he as a youngster could appreciate. And he didn’t want to ruin it, he had thought. At least not yet and maybe not never. And so he walked around to the dark, weedy side of the garage so he could see if he could see the spider in its cone with the 4 o’clock sunlight shining through it. And the garage on that side was almost like right up against the chain-link fence at the edge of the back yard. He had stepped on over and climbed onto the fence and set his arms up on the garage roof and put his chin there on the pebbly edge and peeked with one eye to see. And he could see, he’d thought, he could see it in there moving its skinny little limbs. At work or at rest. Mindless and beautiful. Eric stood on top of the fence with his chest against the tile lip of the roof, arms folded and chin resting on his forearm. Staring at this abnormally large spider that to Eric had no earthly business setting up shop in northern Illinois. It was a spider like out of National Geographic. Maybe indigenous to the rain forests of Brazil or bath houses of Cuba. Maybe just a rare bigass northern Illinois spider. In that web hut, now still. Not moving but still now, like a neolithic mosquito suspended in amber or the ash-ified Pompeiians of B.C.

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Busy day today. Weirdness continues.

Dig these photos I took at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival about a month ago.

Chicken on a stick, grilled for your pleasure.

Street artist.